Critical comments on the WHO-UNEP State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals – 2012 Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Early in 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a 2012 update to the 2002 State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals. Several significant concerns have been identified that raise questions about conclusions reached in this report regarding endocrine disruption. First, the report is not a state-of-the-science review and does not follow the 2002 WHO recommended weight-of-evidence approach. Second, endocrine disruption is often presumed to occur based on exposure or a potential mechanism despite a lack of evidence to show that chemicals are causally established as endocrine disruptors. Additionally, causation is often inferred by the presentation of a series of unrelated facts, which collectively do not demonstrate causation. Third, trends in disease incidence or prevalence are discussed without regard to known causes or risk factors; endocrine disruption is implicated as the reason for such trends in the absence of evidence. Fourth, dose and potency are ignored for most chemicals discussed. Finally, controversial topics (i.e., low dose effects, non-monotonic dose response) are presented in a one-sided manner and these topics are important to understanding endocrine disruption. Overall, the 2012 report does not provide a balanced perspective, nor does it accurately reflect the state of the science on endocrine disruption.

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publication date

  • June 2014